When referee Kateryna Monzul took three short, sharp shrills of her whistle to signal full-time last Sunday afternoon, the disappointment around Meadow Park was tangible.
Having bowed out at the semi-final stage of the Champions League for the last two seasons, Arsenal Ladies went into their last-four clash against VfL Wolfsburg with high hopes of going one step further and reaching this year's final, to be held at Stamford Bridge.
A 2-0 victory for the German side has ensured that Arsenal must now score at least twice at the Volkswagen Arena on Sunday to have a chance of reaching the tournament's showpiece - a tough task when you consider that Ralf Kellermann's team have conceded two goals in a home game only once this season and have kept clean sheets in four of their last five games.
"Kerr has an unerring belief that her team can channel the hurt and disappointment of last week's setback into producing a performance capable of prolonging their quest for a first European trophy since 2007"
So used to facing the pressure and expectation of being overwhelming favourites at domestic level, Shelley Kerr's side travel to Lower Saxony facing what the head coach acknowledges is "a massive challenge".
Nevertheless, Kerr has an unerring belief that her team can channel the hurt and disappointment of last week's setback into producing a performance capable of prolonging their quest for a first European trophy since 2007.
"As a Club we were a bit disappointed in terms with how we played in the first leg," Kerr told Arsenal.com. "We know we can do better. The very fact that we've got another opportunity to try and make amends and try and progress is a glimmer of hope for us. We are going to put all we can into it. The girls are really excited. They're up for the challenge and you never know what's going to happen on the day.
"Most people would think that the tie is over, apart from us. We are very positive as a group. We have a really talented team and I think that if we can execute a game plan at the weekend, I'm pretty sure that we can come out with a positive result.
"When you're used to winning game, it really hurts. I know that the girls have been thinking about last week every day. The result is still cemented in their minds and they really just want to get out there and start the game.
"They couldn't wait for training to come on Tuesday to vent their anger and frustration and disappointment. You could see that in the way they trained. Hopefully that transfers onto the pitch on Sunday but with a disciplined performance.
"You can't just go gung-ho. You have to be very patient. I don't think it's important that we score in the first 10 or 15 minutes. We have to be patient and play the way that we can play. That will be key."
"Everyone involved at the weekend needs to take the responsibility and be leaders"
After a seamless start to life at Arsenal that yielded four wins, 17 goals and progression to the semi-finals of both this tournament and the FA Cup, Kerr knows that this tie offers the toughest test of her reign to date.
There is encouragement in that the Ladies created plenty of chances to score in the first leg. Ellen White was denied by the crossbar and two goal-line clearances. Kim Little flashed an effort wide and Steph Houghton's free-kick somehow bobbled to safety.
“Before Wolfsburg scored the first half, we had two or three chances,” Kerr remembered. “I think in the first half alone, we had three exceptionally good chances.
“If we'd come away from the game having not created anything and feeling in general that Wolfsburg were much better than us, it's a little bit easier to accept.
“I think that's why there's a bit of frustration and disappointment still evident. We know that we're capable of getting a good result. The scoreline definitely flattered Wolfsburg.”
The Ladies can take further optimism from their last visit to Germany, when they scored four times at FFC Turbine Potsdam in November to ensure progression to the quarter-finals and become the first English team to knock out German opposition in the process.
But with hat-trick hero from that game Kelly Smith still very doubtful with an ankle injury, Kerr says it is paramount that the whole squad raise their game in Germany.
"Everyone involved at the weekend needs to take the responsibility and be leaders, and be intelligent and efficient," Kerr said. "That needs to all come together.
"You can't just have one or two players doing that, you need the whole squad to do it - even the ones that may not be involved. They really need to show a togetherness to try and get the result required.
"Everyone needs to step up a level, that's for sure. I really do think that we've got attributes and talent within the squad that can turn the tie around."
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